Tried to pray, realized how stupid it was.

#1
I had a weird experience tonight .. wondering if anyone can relate. I guess it's fair to say before I begin that I'm 36 and seem to be in a continual state of existential crisis. Desperately wanting to believe but unable to do so becuz it's like I have a broken record of a mind and cannot seem to escape doubt and come up with a million and one rational reasons as to why none of this spiritual stuff can be real. I mention that becuz it's probably why I had the feeling I did tonight. But anyways..

I saw on the news that a huge building in London is ablaze and people r trapped. Meanwhile, I was about to pray, as I like to do nightly, and I had the thought of how ridiculous it is to do so.

I'm gonna pray for those people to be saved?? Or for some sort of comfort to those suffering in that building? So I'm praying for god to intervene or help , in something that "he" allowed to happen to begin with?

So it's either ridiculous to pray or selfish.

Gee god, ummm, I know ur letting women and children burn alive, which I guess is cool and all, but my family and I have really been suffering a lot lately and r on the verge of having our only vehicle repo'd which we rely on to get to work but may lose it becuz we r in financial crisis, but hey!! Can u help us find a way to manage this situation or have a miracle so to speak to not lose our transportation or face eviction. Thanks god!!

How fuc$!ing stupid is that. I'm gonna pray for financial help when people r being burned alive.

Anyone else have weird thoughts or feelings like this or am I just a nut job?

The single biggest barrier to my belief is that I absolutely cannot wrap my head around the horrible suffering people endure and how a loving god can allow that. And I don't buy that b.s. that people say .. this world is an illusion, or it's a lesson to be learned or it's karma . Every stupid religion or spiritual belief system has some ridiculous justification for people suffering. It's just made up b.s. so people can sleep at night. Maybe it all means nothing and is completely random. That's just as valid an argument as believing an invisible aspect of myself chose to suffer in the physical world in order to learn some lessons .

Maybe I should be nuts like pat Robertson or whatever his name is and blame earthquakes and tornadoes on gay people. Stupid .

I work in a field that I see and witness unbelievable suffering every single day. And let me tell u, even if I'm exaggerating and only .5 percent of the world suffers in the ways I hear about, that is 0.5% too many to justify a belief in a loving god.

I'm hoping someone can shed some light on my thinking and perhaps I can see it in a different way. Cuz I been spending 18 years in this way of feeling and it's really getting old.
 
#2
Well although a few people here are Christians, most are not. I don't pray - and you put the reason pretty well!

Most of us don't claim to understand what the world is for, but we feel that the standard materialist viewpoint is no longer tenable

Conceivably, prayer actually puts you in touch with well meaning non-physical entities, that help you to think about problems in a more flexible way - maybe a bit like a non-physical "Citizen's Advice Bureau' - which I hope you have visited about your problem.

David
 
#3
The single biggest barrier to my belief is that I absolutely cannot wrap my head around the horrible suffering people endure and how a loving god can allow that. And I don't buy that b.s. that people say .. this world is an illusion, or it's a lesson to be learned or it's karma . Every stupid religion or spiritual belief system has some ridiculous justification for people suffering. It's just made up b.s. so people can sleep at night. Maybe it all means nothing and is completely random. That's just as valid an argument as believing an invisible aspect of myself chose to suffer in the physical world in order to learn some lessons .
Interesting that you should write this this morning, because I've just added a paragraph to my book. A recent attempt by me to achieve I'm not sure what by posting my ideas ended in failure. I wanted to find out why my thinking or lack thereof got some people so riled.

Here is the thread:
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...w-insight-about-consciousness-350.3839/page-5

Here is the bit I've just added to my book:

"I have recently found that having such a worldview is not viewed by a minority as very acceptable, they find it quite offensive. My view that this life 'isn't real' makes them angry, as having such a worldview would seemingly mean that the pain of those who suffer somehow isn't being truly acknowledged. On the contrary, this life is ultra real, and those suffering have little choice but to take pain seriously, be it physical or mental. To fail to deal with it by whatever resources we might have will not serve anyone's best interests.


It seems to me that some people get offended by anything, should you unknowingly touch a nerve. Should we live a like a mouse, trying not to express an opinion for fear of offending anyone? Or should we be bold yet authentic, with good intent?


We all know what he road to hell is paved with…"

Now to add something relevant to your post, Praying, yes I think there is plenty enough evidence that it does help. In fact I am quite sure that it helps. So why not make yourself feel foolish, go for it.
 
#4
I had a weird experience tonight .. wondering if anyone can relate. I guess it's fair to say before I begin that I'm 36 and seem to be in a continual state of existential crisis. Desperately wanting to believe but unable to do so becuz it's like I have a broken record of a mind and cannot seem to escape doubt and come up with a million and one rational reasons as to why none of this spiritual stuff can be real. I mention that becuz it's probably why I had the feeling I did tonight. But anyways..

I saw on the news that a huge building in London is ablaze and people r trapped. Meanwhile, I was about to pray, as I like to do nightly, and I had the thought of how ridiculous it is to do so.

I'm gonna pray for those people to be saved?? Or for some sort of comfort to those suffering in that building? So I'm praying for god to intervene or help , in something that "he" allowed to happen to begin with?

So it's either ridiculous to pray or selfish.

Gee god, ummm, I know ur letting women and children burn alive, which I guess is cool and all, but my family and I have really been suffering a lot lately and r on the verge of having our only vehicle repo'd which we rely on to get to work but may lose it becuz we r in financial crisis, but hey!! Can u help us find a way to manage this situation or have a miracle so to speak to not lose our transportation or face eviction. Thanks god!!

How fuc$!ing stupid is that. I'm gonna pray for financial help when people r being burned alive.

Anyone else have weird thoughts or feelings like this or am I just a nut job?

The single biggest barrier to my belief is that I absolutely cannot wrap my head around the horrible suffering people endure and how a loving god can allow that. And I don't buy that b.s. that people say .. this world is an illusion, or it's a lesson to be learned or it's karma . Every stupid religion or spiritual belief system has some ridiculous justification for people suffering. It's just made up b.s. so people can sleep at night. Maybe it all means nothing and is completely random. That's just as valid an argument as believing an invisible aspect of myself chose to suffer in the physical world in order to learn some lessons .

Maybe I should be nuts like pat Robertson or whatever his name is and blame earthquakes and tornadoes on gay people. Stupid .

I work in a field that I see and witness unbelievable suffering every single day. And let me tell u, even if I'm exaggerating and only .5 percent of the world suffers in the ways I hear about, that is 0.5% too many to justify a belief in a loving god.

I'm hoping someone can shed some light on my thinking and perhaps I can see it in a different way. Cuz I been spending 18 years in this way of feeling and it's really getting old.
I'm not in the least bit religious. But very very occasionally I have asked for help, by that I mean opened up and truly surrendered, because things in my life at those times seem to have exceeded my ability to deal with them anymore.

I have to say I've always felt as if I was helped, as if some of the weight, just enough, was lifted from me. I've never asked for anything specific for myself or others, somehow that wouldn't seem right to me, I've merely surrendered to 'something' and asked for help, like a child, and I've always felt helped and loved when my need felt genuine.

I dont know what that is... whether perhaps just the act of genuine surrender itself is what does it... allows me accept the things I cannot change. But I've done it spontaneously myself for some reason. My parents weren't religious either, they didn't even bother to have a Christening for me.
 
#5
Most people that "pray" are actually pleading for deus ex machina... It's unfortunate how capricious that is, especially if seen from the "life is about learning" POV.
 
#6
The interesting thing about prayer - is that it works.

I'm reluctant to give full details of my own experiences, they mostly involve events or circumstances which I'd generally not share on a public forum. More than once I've felt a wave of energy pass through my entire body afterwards, from head to toe, which was a hint that it had been heard. Another time the answer came in the form of a silent voice putting words into my mind, gently explaining that though my intentions were entirely good, there was another path planned which was also good, thus my wishes couldn't on this occasion be filled. Another occasion led to the uncovering of reincarnation as well as a lifting of a deep blackness which had seemed endless.

There's a lot to be said in its favour - and sometimes it seems not to do so is almost like deliberate self-denial to no purpose. One does not live by bread alone.

edit: I should add that I'm not a Christian, at one time I was atheist, now, I don't have a label.
 
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#7
Most people that "pray" are actually pleading for deus ex machina... It's unfortunate how capricious that is, especially if seen from the "life is about learning" POV.
Why did you put prey in inverted commas and more generally, I couldn't see a link. Could you explain your thinking?
 
#8
I only started praying again as an adult in my 30s (I was raised conservative Christian but became an agnostic in my late teens) in overwhelming circumstances. I prayed either for some situation in the world, to alleviate someone's suffering whom I knew, or help me fix myself. I'd also start the prayer with something like, "God, Goddess, Universe, whoever you are...." and not pray for selfish reasons. When I did pray for myself, I didn't pray for my financial issues to be fixed, for example -- I'd pray that the Universe or whoever would help me figure it out on my own. My father is dying, so I don't pray for him to be healed. I pray to the Universe to help me deal with it and help my family deal with it.

Not that any of this matters, it's just what I do.
 
#10
"Being selfish" just means caring about yourself and there's nothing wrong with that. If you only ever try to do things for others you can get yourself in a sort of reverse crabs in a bucket dillema and end up unable to help anyone anyways. If some entity or another feels like helping you, they will. And if they don't, they won't. There's no harm in asking.
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#11
"Being selfish" just means caring about yourself and there's nothing wrong with that. If you only ever try to do things for others you can get yourself in a sort of reverse crabs in a bucket dillema and end up unable to help anyone anyways. If some entity or another feels like helping you, they will. And if they don't, they won't. There's no harm in asking.
Would anybody here help an ant that was drowning? Maybe if it asked nicely but otherwise, probably not. Mostly, we do nothing for God and don't even want to know him but we still expect his help when we are in trouble. Why on earth should he help the likes of us when we keep on rejecting him? When he does help, it is because of his good nature, not because we have a right to insist on it!
 
#12
Would anybody here help an ant that was drowning? Maybe if it asked nicely but otherwise, probably not. Mostly, we do nothing for God and don't even want to know him but we still expect his help when we are in trouble. Why on earth should he help the likes of us when we keep on rejecting him? When he does help, it is because of his good nature, not because we have a right to insist on it!
Pretty much. I get way more help these days than attacks and I don't even ask for it. Generally the spirits say it's because they believe in what I'm trying to do or that they could get something out of it if it works etc. I'm pretty sure if I was trying to do anything other than the type of magic that I'm doing none of them would care because it wouldn't be relevant to them in any way. Much like how you don't see programmers helping artists with art projects but they would help mechanical engineers building a robot.
 
#13
Would anybody here help an ant that was drowning? Maybe if it asked nicely but otherwise, probably not. Mostly, we do nothing for God and don't even want to know him but we still expect his help when we are in trouble. Why on earth should he help the likes of us when we keep on rejecting him? When he does help, it is because of his good nature, not because we have a right to insist on it!
Funny that you mention the ant thing. About ten years ago, I went outside to smoke a cigarette, and I looked down and saw a fly drowning in a puddle of water. I felt bad for it, so I picked it up, held it while its wings dried, and then it flew off. (I hate flies, BTW.) Just in that moment, I felt really bad for it, and I wrote a whole entry about in my journal. I am not going to look that entry up, because I am sure it sounds pretentious and boring and self-important, but I really did feel that the fly and I had a moment.
 
#14
I will help any creature that I can, without going to extremes. Spending ten minutes getting a wasp out of the conservatory rather than splatting it is normal for me. Stretch my boundaries and I'll show my frailties, I'll probably say 'to hell with you, if you want to die, so be it'. I've watched a few videos on YouTube recently where men have put their lives in danger to help bears, deer etc. Would I do so? Until we're placed in such a situation, it's hard to know. Now that I'm disabled, answers to such questions will remain in God's head.
 
#15
I will help any creature that I can, without going to extremes. Spending ten minutes getting a wasp out of the conservatory rather than splatting it is normal for me. Stretch my boundaries and I'll show my frailties, I'll probably say 'to hell with you, if you want to die, so be it'. I've watched a few videos on YouTube recently where men have put their lives in danger to help bears, deer etc. Would I do so? Until we're placed in such a situation, it's hard to know. Now that I'm disabled, answers to such questions will remain in God's head.
That's awesome, but I would never, ever help a wasp. Been stung, literally and figuratively, by them too many times. F* wasps.
 
#16
That's awesome, but I would never, ever help a wasp. Been stung, literally and figuratively, by them too many times.
Ah Maybe I would draw the line at a Hornet, which we had in Africa. After seeing my Dad complaining about the pain after he got stung, when he never complained about anything much, maybe I'd open the windows and doors and let the bees and wasps in as a swap!
 
#17
Ah Maybe I would draw the line at a Hornet, which we had in Africa. After seeing my Dad complaining about the pain after he got stung, when he never complained about anything much, maybe I'd open the windows and doors and let the bees and wasps in as a swap!
Hmm wasp and hornet are often conflated. But yeah, F them both. Again.
 
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